Saturday, September 27, 2008

New Directions

Early Fall in the Blue Ridge
12x18 soft pastels on Kitty Wallace white
by Miki Willa
We returned from our seven week adventure last Friday and I have spent the week getting used to being home. During the week, I have been pondering this blog and where I want to go with it. I started out doing a painting a day and the blog helped me to stay focused on that project. This summer, on the road, I was exploring plein air painting and how I would adapt to it. I have learned several things.
First - I am a studio painter. I am very glad for the opportunity to paint on location and learn new ways of seeing things. I know it will help me enormously in the studio. I learned a great deal from Richard McKinley about translating what I see onto paper to help others see it, also. I have a long way to go, but I will keep at it.
Second - Doing a painting a day was very good for me to learn to control my medium. When I started out, I had a heavy hand. All my strokes were way to heavy. I am pleased to say, I am getting better at varying my pressure and strokes. That being said, I still have trouble with tree trunks. I have to work on that.
Third - I want to work on larger, more in depth paintings for a while. This means that I won't have a painting a day to post on the blog. I also want to do some artist studies. I have become very enamored of Andrew Wyeth and Winslow Homer of late. Do I post only my finished paintings as they are done, or do I take the blog in a new direction to share what I am studying and learning? I am not sure yet. For the time being, I will post some of the paintings I did on the trip that I have not already shared.
To that end, today's painting was done in studio while in Virginia. We spent a lovely weekend in Syria, Virginia in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. On the way in to Syria is the small town of Crieglersville. As we drove past it, I came upon this scene and knew it had to be painted. It was early fall and the trees were just beginning to turn. I am a complete sucker for these pastoral scenes. They bring me so much peace.
I am glad to be back and hope to figure out my new directions very soon.